8 Life Hacks all College Students Need to Know

It’s the beginning of your freshman year, all of your classes are a breeze. Don’t slack off just because your classes are easier, you’ll want those A’s to balance out with your harder major classes when your junior and senior years rolls around.

2.  Don’t have a sound system in your room? No problem!

Stick your phone in a mug or empty plastic bottle to magnify sound for any random dance parties!

3.  Tape dryer sheets over the vents to keep your dorm smelling fresh.

If you’re tired of smelling your roommates hot pockets in the microwave you can tape your dryer sheets over your fan or your AC unit to keep your dorm room smelling fresh.

4.  Put Siracha on everything.

Does your cafeteria food taste bad? Not to worry, Siracha will do the trick! If you like a little spice in your food Siracha can liven up even the worst scrambled eggs.

5.  Use Studypool to get your homework done.

Homework can be a struggle, especially when you don’t understand the question, don’t have quick access to a tutor, and have five loads of laundry to do. Use Studypool to get even your hardest problems explained and answered.

6.  If You Have a Break Between Classes Take a Nap.

Only college students will appreciate the power of naps! A 30-minute nap will change your life!

7.  Get the big box of goldfish and get snacks from Costco.

Chances are you will never be alone in the dorms, so when you’re eating goldfish in front of everyone they will definitely want some too! Costco is the perfect place to get snacks in bulk.

8.  Make a fort under your bunk bed.

Even if you live in a single, a bunk bed can be put to use to make room for more things, like a fort! Raise your bed, hang lights from the bunk, and lay some blankets and pillows out to make a cool study spot!

30 Things all College Students Need to Know!

1.  You will never have enough water bottles.

2.  Don’t dabble with too many illegal things.

3.  No one really cares about your high school GPA or your SAT score after you’re in college.

4.  Don’t buy your textbooks until your teacher tells you that you need them.

5.  Don’t put alcohol in a reusable water bottle. The taste will never come out!

6.  Do NOT become addicted to Netflix.

7.  Be prepared to pull an all nighter at least once a month.

8.  If you’re living in the dorms the best time to do laundry is NOT on Sunday.

9.  Less is more if you’re planning to live in a triple.

10.Make an effort to get along with your roommates.

11.Always go to class – you never know when your professor will drop a huge test hint.

12.ALWAYS back up your files and take advantage of Google Docs.

13.Learn to do your taxes and your FASFA yourself.

14.Ditch the procrastination habit!

15.Get a bank account with a bank in your area! You don’t want to depend on Mom and Dad to send you cash; you never know when you will be in a tight situation.

16.Never be late to move your clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. People WILL pull your clothes out and set them somewhere.

17.Get a part time job that actually relates to your major and will benefit you in the long run.

18.Get to know your professors… they will be your best references and are a wealth of information.

19.Don’t bring a car to campus unless you really need one, public transit systems can be very cost effective and convenient.

20.Live in the campus residence halls your first year at least. They are much more social than apartments and your hall mates will be your lifelong friends!

21.College really is a lot more fun than high school but it goes by a lot quicker. Enjoy it!!

22.Take smart notes; figure out what system of note taking is best for you. Your high school teachers weren’t lying when they said your college professors wont wait for you to take notes

23.Do not put off registering for classes or taking required classes. You don’t want to have to take an extra year because you didn’t get a required class or was waitlisted for a class.

24.You NEED TO keep a calendar. Google Calendar will become your best friend.

25.Supervise your friends if you are taking them for their first party. And if it’s your first party, it’s not cool to over do it.

26.Never take for granted a care package from your family, even if it only has cold medicine.

27.You will become sick, and you will need to rest. Don’t try to over do it even when your friends are still out having fun.

28.Use Studypool to help you with your homework troubles.

29.Visit your school library. Librarians are often the people who have the answers to all of your questions and can help you earn that A+ grade.

30.Take advantage of any free food! Only college students fully appreciate the miracle of free food.

What are some things you have learned in college!

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The Value of Democratic Principles

The Value of Democratic Principles

It’s often easy to forget why democratic principles are so important. In recent decades, many people no longer ask why democracy should be favored over alternate forms of governance, such as dictatorships or party systems that afford one candidate an inordinate amount of power. It is taken for granted. The concept of democracy is so deeply rooted into the American history in its antithetical position of birth to the monarchical and royal British system of rule in the late 18th century that most Western citizens are used to accepting the notion that democracies are superior systems of governance without questioning it.

The Current Relevance of Government Systems on a Global Stage

With the recent political turmoil across the globe, a critical evaluation of the nature of democracies in contrast to other systems of governance becomes significant. It is often the case that regimes that are clearly not democratic claim that they are democratic. The motivation behind such a huge contradiction in how certain non-democratic states are formally known lies in the idea that democracy has become synonymous with legitimacy of rule as a result of the global influence of the U.S.

Consider one of the biggest global shifts in politics this week: the possible peace, denuclearization, and reunification of North Korea with South Korea. An article in the NYTimes reports and summarizes the progress of the talks: “At a historic summit meeting, the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in the South, the leaders vowed to negotiate a treaty to replace a truce that has kept an uneasy peace on the divided Korean Peninsula for more than six decades.”

One of the foremost questions that should arise should the peace and reunification be successful will be the status and nature of Kim Jong Un’s power afterwards. Note that North Korea is formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Of course, a long history of human rights abuses coupled with continuous and belligerent efforts to develop nuclear weapons along with a very salient dictator makes the title ironic.

If North Korea seriously intends to undergo a reunification effort, it implies that there will be some serious reorganization of government structures as the Koreas reconcile their difference. There are already preliminary signs of this activity, as with the decision by North Korea to adjust its timezone to match South Korea’s. Of course, the nature of the North Korean sense of democracy will clash with the global perspective of the term should the peace and integration of the split countries come to fruition.

An Inefficient and Corrupt Democracy is Superior to a Benevolent Dictatorship

An argument often made with regard to the benefits of a dictatorship manifests in the idea that under a wise dictator with a far-reaching vision, an autocratic state can make quicker and more efficient adjustments in comparison to its democratic counterparts. However, I argue that as long as a nation and its people have the means to exercise their rights within the context of a democratic system – that is, as long as the basic foundation of a nation’s democratic principles are not compromised – an inefficient and corrupt democracy is still superior to the most efficient dictatorship.

Even if the people in this hypothetical democratic regime suffer under the indiscretions of their elected leaders while the people of a hypothetical dictatorship prosper as a result of the reform efforts and governance centered around one individual, the democratic regime is superior in the long run. This is because a competent leader that continuously is able to prioritize and choose decisions for the citizens of his country and spurn self-interest is an exceptional case of leadership surrounding a dictatorship.

Further, as far as the long-term implications of each regime, a democracy is always superior because of the in-built political mechanisms that allow for corrections to representatives who are elected by the general population. This is to say that a corrupt democracy can be amended or fixed, while the only solution to “fix” a dictatorship usually involves a violent coup or revolution launched by the populace.

The Problem With Making Large Donations to Universities

The Problem With Making Large Donations to Universities

Along with bankruptcy following a lottery draw, making large donations to universities represents another monetary mire that many ultra-wealthy individuals find themselves attempting to traverse. Recently, the row between the Pearson family and the University of Chicago over a $100 million donation that the Pearsons made in 2015 has surfaced as a significant example of the intersection between charitable donations and conditionality.

The Conflicting Nature of Charity and Conditionality

A donation’s size and intentionality can often overshadow its charitable nature in the sense that the obligations that a university or other body must fulfill to get a donation may contradict the nature of a donation to begin with. In other words, there’s something to be said about making a donation and expecting something to be commissioned out of it, or for your money to be spent wisely.

Any Google search reveals that educational institutions like universities often do not fret in relocating the money of well-intentioned donors to more frivolous spending. There’s a spate of cases where donors sue universities for failing to uphold the “spirit” in which a donation is made, and the high profile lawsuit launched against University of Chicago is hardly an exception.

Sometimes the wasteful spending is so negligent that the universities are called out by the public rather than their donors, as in the case of Robert Morin’s $4 million donation to the University of New Hampshire. The Washington Post article highlights the hard-earned nature of Morin’s fortune in characterizing the gift: “A $4 million bequest to the University of New Hampshire by a frugal library cataloger who worked there for a half-century has been big news, with stories focusing on the life of Robert Morin, who drove a 1992 Plymouth, ate a lot of frozen dinners and squirreled away millions.”

The school’s decision to spend $1 million of the donation on a football scoreboard has drawn widespread criticism across social media platforms. Further, the spokesperson for the university only made things worse by attempting to explain the spending as justifiable based on Morin’s brief interest in football towards the end of his life. Most people are left with the bad aftertaste that the University of New Hampshire did not really care or look out for the interests of a dead man despite his dedication to that education institute.

Philanthropy Comes With Risks

In most of the lawsuits filed against universities by donors surrounding the inappropriate spending associated with their gifts, the universities usually win because of the nature of a donation. Once a donation is made, no matter how badly the university fails to fulfill an obligation discussed beforehand and no matter how badly the money is squandered, it is difficult to justify a reversal.

In other words, if you donate money to a body and then expect that body to be bound by a set of obligations after the donation, you’re walking on shaky expectations. In reality, like with the Morin case, there is little binding reasons or recourse that philanthropists may take to recoup losses associated with a “bad donation.”

This seems to be the case with Tim and Tom Pearson and their $100 donation to the University of Chicago. It is apparent to most onlookers that the university had cut corners in regards to the expectations and standards that the Pearsons set by forgetting to schedule an important summit and by hiring substandard talent. But again, it is immensely difficult to justify a lawsuit for the return of money already donated.

In this sense, the shrewdness of the Pearsons in setting a schedule of payments rather than simply handing off a lump sum payment of $100 million to the University of Chicago was well-met, as they only stand to lose around $23 million from the payments already made rather than the entirety of the promised donation. But such structures beg the question of what truly constitutes philanthropy.

Think about it from this perspective, if the Pearsons wanted to create a successful institute as their primary goal, they would have much more autonomy and control over the process if they did not make a donation but instead used their money in a commercial manner to develop that goal. Instead of having to debate whether or not UChicago fulfilled its end of the bargain when it came to hiring competent academic staff, the Pearsons would have been able to effect changes in a more direct manner.

The Age of Excess Information

Too much information rots and stagnates meaningful and critical thinking. People commonly praise the Internet for ushering in a new age of interconnectivity, where a multitude of people can benefit from the vast dissemination of basic, high-quality educational resources for free. Benefits associated with the rise of information and the technology to serve it to the masses find intuitive applications in furthering the gains to be made by a greater degree of collective collaboration and diversity in human thought and efforts. But the reality appears to increasingly deviate from that path.

The Diminishing Marginal Returns of the Internet

Clutter and generally useless content on the Internet is nothing new. The ease of creating a webpage and then filling it up with content means that anyone with a computer and an opinion can sit down and start posting whatever they want or feel is appropriate. Such trends are nothing new, and they’ve been present since around 2005. The Wall Street Journal notes that there are millions of bloggers in a piece published over a decade ago, and most current statistics that you’ll find from a Google search indicate that there are millions of blogs posted daily.

What’s surprising is that people have noticed this shift in the way that information is perceived almost as early as when the Internet first began to gain massive popularity. In fact, Nicholas Carr describes the very possibility of this phenomenon in his notable 2008 essay in The Atlantic aptly titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

Carr makes several important remarks on the nature of how information perception and how learning might change as a result of the increased presence and availability of that information. Remarking on his own experiences, Carr writes “Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages.” He highlights the idea that the quantity of information may be forcing our brains to develop adaptive strategies to process and understand that volume and extract the useful bits.

While it appears as a distant concern of the past, I believe that Carr’s considerations are now more relevant and actually more apparent than ever. The increasing presence of large corporations on the Internet coupled with a proportional slew of content that aims to establish a narrative rather than to inform has left many wondering and tenuously navigating between useful content, noise, or a combination of both.

There is Fine Print Everywhere Now

Lost are the days of journalistic integrity and lost are the days where people posting genuinely useful information can be found almost immediately. I remember a time when I could Google a subject and I didn’t have to go through a whole list of considerations about which sources were credible and which weren’t before finally deciding to click on a webpage to check it out. If you want to know something now, there’s always a catch.

Nowhere is this more problematic than when you search for advice for anything on Google. There exists an entire $65 billion market surrounding SEO, which essentially aims to maximize the ranking of sites with respect to certain search terms across popular search engines.

The premise of Google makes the most sense when people are not trying to game the system by spending large sums of money to get their content ranked higher, since it implies that Google result rankings are now sorted based on a combination of who has invested in the best SEO strategies and who has decent content. Legal concerns and economic interests now play a significant part of what you can and can’t find on search engines.

Recycled Information and Incentivization Ruin Connectivity’s Benefits

When it comes to common advice, the Internet has morphed into this grotesque hunting ground for suckers and gullible people. Let’s say you want to be more financially aware. Perhaps you’re looking for ways to generate a consistent income and eventually to turn those income streams into something passive.

Check out the results of a Google search for “how to make passive income.” One thing you’ll notice is that almost all of the articles on the first page are listicles, or articles that consist of the headline “X ways to do/achieve Y.” I can unequivocally say that most of these articles are useless and that they come with a big catch attached to them.

I chose this example because it is ironic in the sense that the people who are searching for how to make passive income and then clicking and reading on “tips” regarding the subject actually provide and act as the source for the passive income of the people who are hosting the site. The facade is much easier to grasp when you see how formulaic some of the articles and results are. Frequently, a majority of the tips and advice given on one site are just reworded slightly and reposted.

The anonymity that allowed for users to possess a degree of freedom on the Internet in the past is now is to obfuscate the relationships between companies and paid promoters. The nature of the Internet should receive greater concern as it hurdles towards transforming into a giant billboard for advertisers.

Tesla’s Newest Rocky Patch

Tesla hasn’t been doing too hot in 2018. If there’s one thing that Tesla and its trailblazing CEO Elon Musk are known for, it’s the tightrope balancing routine between revolutionary and unfeasible. And in the past few months, Musk has demonstrated and reminded shareholders, investors, and the general public that he is not at all infallible when it comes to leading forays into new technologies on a big promise, stunning aesthetic, and far-reaching vision of the future.

Cracks in the Confidence and Potential of Self-Driving A.I. Systems

When Tesla first unveiled the feature of self-driving A.I., it took much of the world by storm. Indeed, a number of news outlets seemed to pick up and broadcast the story of how the uncanny A.I. system could predict and prevent accidents before most human drivers realized by producing a high-pitched series of beeps when it detected a high possibility of collision. But that was two years ago.

More recently, the safety of Tesla’s self-driving technology and A.I. has come under fire as a result of a string of deaths. A March 23 crash in Mountain View, California and a subsequent analysis revealed that the autopilot mode was engaged when the driver, who was asleep during the time of the accident, crashed and died. Despite Tesla indicating that the driver received multiple warnings and evidence that there was sufficient time to react, the fatal nature of the incident dampened a lot of enthusiasm for the technology.

Tesla even posted an update on its site clarifying the limitations of the technology in the aftermath, remarking that: “Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur.” It comes as no surprise that such an announcement about the reality and the current restrictions on autopilot technology revealed how A.I. systems were much less robust as many people initially perceived them to be.

The Consequences

However, the reputational damage to the perceived safety of A.I. systems employed in autopilot-like circumstances occurred at a broader scale, going beyond Tesla as an individual company. Uber, another prominent company making investments and advancements in research towards the automation of driving, saw involvement in the death of an Arizona resident as a result of that testing for automation.

The close proximity in the timeline of these two deaths related to self-driving technologies raised a number of red flags across the board for legislators, the automobile industry, and the general population. Major companies such as Toyota came out to denounce the lack of testing and the priority of consumer safety, redoubling its efforts to test edge cases before releasing commercial self-driving technology.

This correction in the confidence of drivers in Tesla’s technology manifested in a number of large declines in Tesla’s share price subsequent to the crash. Tesla’s financial issues were further compounded by a credit downgrade by Moody’s regarding its bonds. At one of the lowest points, almost a third of Tesla’s market value evaporated.

Musk’s Questionable Earnings Call

Another controversy arose out of Musk’s handling of Tesla’s earning call with analysts. In the call, Musk did not properly reply to some of the harder questions about how his business would handle funding challenges going forward. Musk further appeared dismissive of analysts who questioned some of his assertions by quoting the doubts of some of his colleagues.

An article from Bloomberg notes the disastrous impact of the call on investor confidence in Tesla, commenting on Musk’s aversion towards addressing his business’ financial elephant-in-the-room: “During a highly unusual earnings call, Tesla Inc.’s chief executive officer cut off analysts and got defensive about probing questions pertaining to the electric-car maker’s finances. The company burned through more than $1 billion for the third time in four quarters.”

Unsurprisingly, Tesla’s share prices fell noticeably after the call, with Musk eventually backtracking on his handling of the questions posed by analysts. He noted that it was “foolish” to have sidestepped and avoided the topic upon reflection. When taken in consideration with the bad press regarding Tesla’s self-driving technology and persistent doubts about the company’s ability to remain profitable and stable in the long-term, the comments served to exacerbate uncertainty in Musk’s executive leadership.

Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity Wars

Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity Wars

I’m usually not too big on superhero movies in the sense that while I really like the action and the sheer artistic talent involved in rendering those complex special visual effects, I don’t find the characters too relatable nor the storyline interesting. Regardless, with the arrival of the new blockbuster Infinity Wars and its record-breaking opening debut, I felt that I definitely couldn’t miss this new film. So, I called up a friend and we hit the local theaters.

What Really Stood Out

Even going in with the expectations one would have for any Marvel movie, I was blown away by the scale and magnitude of the movie in itself. I’m not someone who really spends a lot of time looking into the movies of any particular actors or studying their quirks and their history, but I definitely appreciated how the Russo brothers along with the rest of the members involved in the direction of the film were able to orchestrate such a grand spectacle for everyone.

As far as achieving the goal of unifying the backstories of multiple characters who are protagonists and heroes in their own right into one integrated universe and environment and then setting a cohesive narrative around it, Infinity Wars did a brilliant job. The pacing of the movie was excellent too. It was one of those movies where you watch it and feel as if you’ve been transported three hours into the future afterwards.

The visual effects were seamless and convincing. There’s not really much to say on that end. The movie starts in medias res by thrusting the viewer into the action and wastes no time creating the necessary context, backdrop, and motivations across its diverse cast of characters. The comedic breaks were appropriate and well-timed too, stemming from the cultural differences between the characters of the Guardians of the Galaxy and essentially everyone else.

What Bothered Me

Now, I’m all for suspension of disbelief and enjoying the film by allowing enough creative liberties to the directors, but several moments and themes really detracted from the consistency of the narrative. A lot of these moments have to deal with how the emotional baggage and reactions of many characters are reconciled.

If we take a closer look and really think about the what’s at stake and then think about the reactions of some individual characters, the narrative really starts to unravel. For instance, one character that really didn’t make sense for me was Gamora. Given the ultimate goal of preventing Thanos from achieving his genocidal aims and given that she knew the location of the Soul Stone, the most logical choice would have been not confronting Thanos and putting herself in a position where she would not be captured.

Thanos and Gamora’s antagonistic father-daughter relationship also created a confusing narrative point when Thanos sacrifices Gamora to attain the Soul Stone. She is framed as possibly the only person that Thanos ever has opened his heart towards after his genocidal ambitions, but she also exists as someone that Thanos does not show concern towards when it comes to exacting severe emotional pain. In other words, it doesn’t make sense that Thanos values Gamora so much but also does not hesitate to hold his own daughter hostage as a bargaining chip to get Gamora to divulge the location of the Soul Stone.

Arguably, if Gamora committed suicide with the intent of destroying the knowledge of the location of the Soul Stone, it would have tipped the chances of victory in the favor of the Avengers immediately. In fact, Vision’s offer to sacrifice himself by allowing Maximoff to destroy his Infinity stone essentially captures this spirit and lucidity about the actual consequences of Thanos winning and is a running theme throughout the film. I would want to also argue that Loki should have kept the Tesseract hidden at the cost of letting Thor die, but it is not outside the realm of Loki’s character to act in contradictory or dishonorable ways and the choice isn’t as questionable since they were caught off-guard and unprepared.

Perhaps the most nonsensical part of the film was Star-Lord’s overreaction at the news that Gamora had died. There are several things that don’t make sense with this scene. The first thing is why Mantis decides to announce Thanos’ emotions. She should have just not revealed any more details about Thanos’ mental state over his sacrifice of Gamora to Star-Lord. Even then, Star-Lord decides to take the action of endangering all of his friends by disrupting Mantis’ interference with Thanos.

To add insult to injury, Dr. Strange is supposed to have gleaned over some 14 million possibilities regarding their encounter with Thanos. Why didn’t he have foresight about Star-Lord’s major blunder?

Concluding Thoughts

When looking at the film as a whole, I feel deeply conflicted. While the film manages to execute brilliantly on visuals, actions, and the motivations for why all of these characters come together, it also has a number of moments where it feels contrived. The aim towards Thanos achieving his goal seems too constructed. The major problem for me was that it feels like the movie created a set of unrealistic circumstances and stretches in order to have the villain succeed in the end.

Examining The Use of Stimulants to Treat ADHD

Examining The Use of Stimulants to Treat ADHD

Many argue that the use of stimulants to treat ADHD harms children more than it benefits them. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that about 5% of American children, or 1 in 20, are diagnosed with ADHD. There are a large set of advocates for investigating alternative methods to address ADHD to create less of an impact on the brain’s neurochemistry, especially for developing children and teenagers.

Issues such as overprescription and the arbitrary determination of an individual’s ability to hold their attention by medical professionals have received scrutiny. The above article published in the Wall Street Journal provides arguments from professionals on opposite sides of the fence, with some arguing that immaturity and impulsiveness is difficult to distinguish from actual ADHD in children.

The prevalence of the use of stimulants such as Adderall or its derivatives such as Vyvanse towards the treatment of ADHD and similar disorders relating to attention deficits or an inability to concentrate represents a complex and controversial issue receiving a fair degree of limelight in the media as well as in the academic community.

Understanding ADHD More Fully

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a frequently mentioned term that many misunderstand because of the apparently straightforward description of the acronym. But in order to make meaningful headway into describing if stimulants produce benefits for those impacted by ADHD, ensuring that our definitions of ADHD are consistent is important.

An overview published by Greydanus, Pratt, and Patel (2007) gives us the basic sketch of the disorder: “ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder with abnormalities in various neurotransmitter systems, including noradrenergic, serotonergic, and dopaminergic. There are various degrees of attention dysfunction, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that interfere with day-to-day functioning.

An important thing to note is that there is a neurobiological and genetic basis for the expression of these behaviors that Greydanus et al. (2007) identifies in their research. Specifically, the summary points out neurotransmitter dysfunction or deficiency in the CNS region and names dopamine transporter dysfunction as one of the keys to the underlying etiology of ADHD.

A Brief Overview of Evidence

So, do prescribed treatments that impact that central nervous system (CNS) have medicinal properties? Further, are their liabilities associated with the interference of a child’s developmental processes and their ability to learn the necessary skills to function in society past their academic achievement? Should we be concerned about the ethical implications associated with prescribing children stimulants?

These are all questions and qualms that parents with children potentially impacted by ADHD may hold when it concerns seeking out the best possible mix of treatments to ensure that their child or children can live a happy, successful life as an adult in the future. Fortunately, a number of studies have been published delineating the benefits and the demerits of using stimulants as it concerns different populations of individuals.

For instance, it is a frequent point in the scientific literature that those with genuine deficits in attention great enough to impede the functioning of their day-to-day lives benefit from the use of stimulants on a controlled basis.

The Future of Betting

The blockchain is about to collide with betting. There’s a huge amount of buzz about how cryptocurrencies will make gambling much more enjoyable, personalizable, efficient, and fair. Negative perceptions and associations are gradually fading away as more people become involved in exploring the potential of blockchain tech.
Relevantly, one of the major gripes people have with institutional transaction services are their inefficiency and their often arbitrary criteria when choosing to limit or restrict individual accounts.

With the arrival of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, unregulated digital stores of value now allow much more breathing room for the development of financial technologies and for the development of the digital sphere’s own unique gaming ecosystem.

Fusion: The Interface Between Blockchain and Betting

Betting and gambling are getting a virtual makeover. As a result of the recent popularity of blockchain along with its direct and strong association with technology, a number of applications have spawned to help relate the value conferred by cryptocurrencies onto commonly enjoyed activities.

Enjoy roulette? How about sports betting? Maybe you just want to bet on the outcome of an event with your friend, like whether or not Donald Trump will be a one-term or two-term policy. Blockchain is immensely powerful when it comes to ensuring that all bets are live and fair, and that they are paid out.

How many times have you won a bet against a friend or told a bookie to make a bet for you only to find out that they either ignore you or that they’ve forgotten completely? As it turns out, binary prediction bets are a perfect fit for a decentralized implementation, making automated and efficient bitcoin casinos possible. The advancements in tech which have led to the popularization of blockchain solutions come at an opportune time, as regulatory controls ease or are generally not well-established.

One major market mover is in this space of bitcoin games is Apollo. With Apollo, when you make a bet, it’s immediately associated with your wallet and the transactions along with the randomness of the bet itself are verifiable using the industry-standard provably fair algorithms. There’s no room for cheating because you can use the transaction information that’s tied to the game to verify that the result is, in fact, genuinely random, and the house edge is a bit lower because there’s no physical upkeep to worry about.

Further, gaming sites employing cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech in this manner offer an immersive experience with all of the sounds, effects, and selections you’d expect to experience from an in-person bet, all from the comfort of your laptop or even your phone.

How The Blockchain Differs: A Shift to Legitimacy

While the blockchain is also a primarily digital mode that allows for the transfer and storage of value, a big differentiator between the blockchain and the other payment methods on the Internet exists in the degree of anonymity it affords to its users. Naturally, this was the reason that it was initially co-opted by criminal organizations and individuals to account for monetary value of illicit activities. In its earliest stages, the face of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was heavily associated with the illegal purchases of drugs online in association with the online marketplace Silkroad.

Since then, the increased popularity of Bitcoin and a renewed interested in the technical aspects and potential associated with blockchain technology has galvanized an entirely separate crowd of people and experts looking to optimize the technology for practical uses. Because of this presence, people are beginning to open up to Bitcoin as a more popular and commonplace form of currency. This inverted relationship, which has led to its decreasing popularity in criminal circles, is well-documented in a piece featured by The Atlantic.

However, in contrast to the more nefarious intentions of some of Bitcoin’s earlier adopters along with the nebulousness of Bitcoin’s origins, there is now a vibrant and enthusiastic community surrounding the development and support of Bitcoin along with several major altcoins

The space for bitcoin gambling is also undergoing similar changes as a result of its popularity, with regulatory grey areas giving online venues enough structure and safety to efficiently conduct business without putting significant pressure that would work as an obstacle against new market entrants. Let’s take a closer look at how such a relationship between gambling and online platforms developed over time and how it continues to to evolve.

The Historical Relationship Between Gambling and Technology

Because it takes a while for legislators to understand and catch on with the latest and most recent trends in tech, the time for the appropriate regulation and controls to appear and significantly hamper development will also take much longer.

Everyone familiar with the recent Facebook privacy fiasco with Cambridge Analytica and some of the more controversial questions asked by senators understands this gap. Zuckerberg’s excellent showing contrasted greatly with the inexperience and lack of preparation of the part of some members of the Senate during the hearing.

However, this concerns technology in general. Governments usually have a very strong interest in protecting their citizens from taking risks without understanding the relevant underlying consequences. That’s why organizations such as the SEC and FINRA have stringent standards on who can manage wealth. It’s also why strict controls on the definitions of gambling, even online, exist in many jurisdictions.

The Internet itself is actually one of the best examples of a technology that engendered an entire subcategory related to betting when crafty entrepreneurs took to the digital world to offer platforms for a distributed set of individuals to bet against the house, on events, and against each other.